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The King's Daughter

The most well-known of the Maiden’s Tower (Kız Kulesi) legends is the story of a king and his daughter. The king, who was warned by a fortune teller that his daughter would die from a snake bite, had a tower built on the cliffs off Salacak. In order to protect his daughter, he placed her in the tower.
The king would send food to his daughter in a basket at certain times of the day. One day there was a snake hidden in the fruit basket. The snake bit the king's daughter, poisoning her, resulting in her death.

Battal Gazi

Another legend is about Battal Gazi the warrior. After seeing Battal Gazi stationed opposite the city, the Byzantine Feudal Landlord becomes alarmed and then hides his treasures and his daughter in the tower.
Battal Gazi captures the tower and takes both the treasures and the princess. He continues his way by crossing to Üsküdar on his horse.
It is said that the source of the expression, “Atı alan Üsküdar'ı geçti”, is from this event. The general meaning of the expression is “What is past, is past."


The first legend about the Maiden's Tower ever recorded was penned by Ovidius. According to this legend, Hero, a nun at the Temple of Aphrodite in Sestos on the western side of the Dardanelles Strait, falls in love with Leandros, who lives in Abydos. Leandros swims every night to Sestos to see Hero.
One day, when there is a storm, the light of the lantern in the tower goes out. Leandros loses his way and dies by drowning. The next day, after she sees his lifeless body on the shore, Hero commits suicide by throwing herself into the water.
This legend, a variation that originally took place in Çanakkale, is forever linked to İstanbul’s Maiden's Tower since the tower became famous with European travellers in the 18th century. The tower subsequently began to be known as “Tour de Leandre” or “Leander’s Tower” in accordance with the fashions of the time.

The Galata Tower and the Maiden’s Tower love affair

The Maiden's Tower is lonely and naïve, but elegant as a pearl. She is located on the Bosphorus, right in the heart of İstanbul. The Galata Tower is an imposing structure that overlooks İstanbul from the top of a hill.
While the Maiden's Tower is alone in the Bosphorus, the Galata Tower shows itself with his imposing and charming posture. The two towers fall in love with each other in the romantic atmosphere of İstanbul. The Bosphorus Strait is a barrier between them so they cannot meet. The Galata Tower writes letters and poems to the Maiden's Tower who wilts day by day in the face of this impossible love.
One day Ahmet Çelebi climbs to the top of the Galata Tower. He intends to fly from the tower to Üsküdar. The Galata Tower insists that Çelebi take the tower’s letters with him as he flies over the Bosphorus. However, as Çelebi approaches the coast of Salacak, the letters are scattered by the wind, yet the waves deliver the letters to the Maiden's Tower. It is at that time that the Maiden realizes how much Galata Tower loves her.
When they realize that their love is mutual, their beauty blossoms. Although it is impossible for them to get together, they live out their love affair by gazing at each other for centuries. This legendary love story passed down from generation to generation, has inspired the beautiful, charming atmosphere of İstanbul.